So the rumours were indeed correct. Takeda Pharmaceutical Co has agreed to buy Switzerland's Nycomed for 9.6 billion euros.

After a week of speculation, the Japanese drugmaker has confirmed the cash deal, which is inclusive of privately-owned Nycomed's net debt. Takeda said it will finance part of the transaction through a loan of up to 700 billion yen (about $8.58 billion ) and it plans to close the acquisition within the next three to four months.

The Osaka-headquartered group says the "transformational transaction is a strategic fit", boosting its presence in Europe and the emerging markets. The acquisition does not include Nycomed's US dermatology business but Takeda is getting hold of Daxas (roflumilast) for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease "which is expected to be a major source of revenue growth".

In addition, the acquisition will bring Takeda "an immediate and stable increase in cash flow" with Nycomed's 2.8 billion euros in annual revenues. Chief executive Yasuchika Hasegawa added that the deal enables Takeda "to maximise the value of our portfolio and gives us an immediate strong presence in the high-growth emerging markets while doubling Takeda's European sales".

His counterpart at the Zurich-headquarterd firm, Hakan Bjorklund, said "the combination of Takeda's successful track record of innovation with Nycomed's efficient commercialisation and manufacturing infrastructure will create a global player with a phenomenal ability to bring medicines to patients and healthcare providers around the world".

Nycomed was acquired by Nordic Capital (along with co-investors) in 2005, and one of its advisors, Kristoffer Melinder, said the investment in the firm "has outperformed even the highest expectations". More details of the deal will be given at a press conference later today.